Group Development Director Dalziel and Pow
In Retrospect: 2012
India has been very much in a conciliatory mode in 2012, with very little change in the retail landscape. The power of the 'youth' and the rising educated middle classes have energized some of the home grown Indian retailers in youth apparel who are addressing this opportunity, trying to capture and build on their current market share, by investing in new design concepts. Cost is foremost in the minds of our Indian clients. The challenge has been to deliver quality projects in India matching an international standard, and which are also relevant and affordable to the Indian market. We have been working hard to combine our international creativity and retail experience with the knowledge and expertise of our local partners to improve our efficiency and client servicing.
Arrival of FDI
The value of design is crucial in the strategic overview local brands will need to take to ensure they are ready to respond to the international competition. International brands are already used to dealing with the best global design agencies and won't be looking for this service locally. Where they will struggle is in the implementation of their schemes to an acceptable standard in India. They will need local 'design adaptation' and implementation agencies, who understand their brand and how best to deliver it in the Indian market. Inevitably, price will always be a differentiator and local brands will be better positioned to offer value for money in this respect. International brands will always struggle to import products to market that are cost sensitive.
Looking Ahead: 2013
Indian retailers need to understand and promote their brands better to ensure they have a differentiated product offer and a unique proposition and tone of voice. They need to remain consumer centric, and invest in services and offers that support the customer journey and experience. They should employ digital technology to promote and support the offer with web, apps and interactive instore experiences, supported by first class visual merchandising and point of sale to support the product offer.